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October 12, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It certainly has been an exciting start to the 2017-2018 school year.  The big news of course, is the recognition Hoboken Catholic Academy received on September 28th when Secretary of Education, Betsy Du Vos, named our school as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence!  If you have not done so already, please visit the HCA Facebook page, which has a video of the assembly and the announcement as experienced by our students.  It was indeed special.

This recognition is something we can all be proud of, because each member of the HCA family over the last several years has played a role in making it a reality.  Thank you all for sharing your amazing children with us and for encouraging them to be the very best students they can be.  Thank you for your tireless support of everything we do and for your help every step of the way. 

The criteria used to be eligible to even apply for Blue Ribbon recognition requires that average test scores at multiple grade levels in reading and math are among the top 15% on a nationally normed, standardized test.  The application process for this year’s award actually began in the spring of 2016.  At that time our Terra Nova scores met that rigorous “cut score” criteria.  Our application was developed over the succeeding months and submitted to CAPE, the Center for the Advancement of Private Education, last spring.  CAPE advanced fifty applications nation-wide to the United States Department of Education for final consideration, and our application was one of the fifty to advance.  The celebration last week and the award ceremony to take place in Washington DC on November 6th and 7th will culminate an 18 month process.   The story, however, does not end there.  I am pleased to inform you that we have posted our school-wide 2017 Terra Nova results on the HCA website and as you will see, our students once again, performed beautifully.  HCA’s average test scores are well above the national average and fared very well in comparison with students across the Archdiocese, exceeding their average scores in all content areas at all grade levels tested.

Over the last two weeks we have had Mr. Ippolito covering our Spanish classes.  Ms. Palomino, our Spanish teacher, resigned suddenly for personal reasons, creating the need for the change.  A search for a new teacher began immediately and I am pleased to introduce Senorita Daniella Ortega, as our new Spanish teacher.    Ms. Ortega is a certified elementary school teacher and a native speaker who conducted a beautiful demonstration lesson earlier this week.  She will begin teaching at HCA next week.  There will be some minor adjustments to the master schedule to accommodate her schedule and your child’s classroom teacher will inform you if there are any changes for your child’s class.  Ms. Fusiak has resumed teaching the eighth grade social studies classes as she had done previously and Ms. Timmerman has taken over the computer classes previously taught by Ms. Palomino.  Those schedules have remained unchanged.   You will note on the progress reports that there is no comment from the Spanish teacher.   The timing of Ms. Palomino’s departure caused this anomaly. 

Please note the following:

  • Thanks to everyone who made Kids’ Festival at Oktoberfest so outstanding. Thanks to everyone who attended our Back to School Nights. Both were very well attended!
  • Reading Minutes for September are included in the Virtual Back Pack.  Please keep them reading at home so we can hit our 1,000,000-minute goal!
  • Thanks to the members of the Golf Outing Committee.   It is shaping up to be a spectacular event!  Please join us on Monday, 10/16, if you are able.
  • HCA Open Houses are scheduled for Thursday, October 19th and Saturday, October 21st.  Both will run from 10:00AM to 12:00PM.  Volunteers are needed.  Please contact Donna Murphy if you can help.
  • Hoboken Family Alliance All Schools Open House will take place at Hoboken HS on Thursday, October 26th, from 4:00PM to 8:00PM.  Volunteers are needed to talk about our school to prospective parents.  Call Donna Murphy if you can help.
  • As was spoken about at the Home and School Association meeting, we are preparing next year’s cost projections and will set tuition rates prior to the open houses next week.  A letter detailing any changes will come home early next week.
  • We have scheduled a Living Rosary on Wednesday, October 18th at 1:40 in St. Ann Church.  All are welcome.
  • K-8 Parent /Teacher conferences will take place on Monday, 10/23 from 6:00-8:30 PM and following a half day on Tuesday, October 24th from 1:00-3:00PM.
  • Pink Dress Down Day ($2) to support breast cancer awareness- proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society on Thursday, 10/26.  Coupons cannot be used.
  • Teachers will attend the Archdiocesan Mass to be celebrated by Cardinal Tobin on Friday, October 27th.  There will be a half-day of school that day.
  • Halloween parades will take place on the 31st, PK and K at 9:00 and Grades 1-4 at 10:00AM in the gym.  Doors will open at 8:50 and 9:50 respectively.
  • Pre-K and Kindergarten parties will take place following the parade and in grades 1-8 starting at 1:30PM.
  • Students will attend 10:00 Mass on Wednesday, November 1st, All Saints Day, which is a Holy Day of Obligation.  There will be no First Friday Mass on the 3rd, as originally scheduled, however, November 3rd will remain a half-day for teachers to work on the Middle States self study in the afternoon.
  • The HCA Student Council will begin our “Phone Cards for Troops” drive beginning on October 23rd.  More information will be forthcoming.
  • Thank you again for your continued support.  God bless you all.  Lets have a great rest of the month!

Matthew McGrath